The Celtics beat the Bucks in overtime. The Celtics had a 16 point lead at one point in the first half, however, the Bucks made impressive halftime adjustments on defense. Isaiah Thomas scored 37 points and added 8 assists. Crowder was big in the final minutes of overtime. Jae Crowder made some clutch free-throws and was effective on defense and on the glass. The Celtics have now won three of their last four. Boston also tied Toronto for second place in the Eastern Conference.

Winning Close Games

Sometimes teams find themselves in close games down the stretch. Sometimes your best weapons aren’t working for you. Well, in those situations, you need to find a way to win. Thomas did not score over the final 9:33 of the game but yet the Celtics found a way to win this game in overtime.

After beginning overtime 3 for 4 from the floor, the Celtics missed their next 3 shots. Yet they were able to cling to a small lead on the defensive end. They were able to attack the rim and draw fouls, and convert their free throws. Tonight the Celtics found a way to win.

Bucks Played Great Second Half Defense

The Celtics tied their season-high for points in the first quarter with 39. They shot over 60% from the field in the first quarter. Yet, at the end of the game their stat lines don’t look as impressive. The Celtics finished with a lower FG% than the Bucks. (41. 6% to 42. 5%)

The Celtics attacked the paint and looked to move the ball to the corners in the first half. The Bucks smartly took this away in the second half. The Bucks often over-help on defense. To make that work you have to be very active and rotate into passing lanes and block the weak-side. The Bucks elevated their intensity level and hustle over the second half.

Celtics Supporting Cast Steps Up

Without Al Horford the Celtics have had to rely on other players. Other guys have had to step up and play bigger roles and perform beyond their normal expectations. That has happened in their last two games.

Everybody had to make plays for us to win, on offense and defense. We gotta lean on a bunch of guys. – @celtics Brad Stevens

– A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) January 29, 2017

Tyler Zeller provided 5 boards in only 14 minutes. Per 36 minutes that would have been 12. 85 rebounds. Kelly Olynyk provided 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in 35 minutes. Jae Crowder gave the Celtics another solid effort on both ends. Crowder scored 20 points, but was also extremely effective on defense and on the glass down the stretch. Amir Johnson chipped in 11 points and 7 boards in only 24 minutes. His rebounding total per 36 minutes would be 10. 5.

Celtics Next Game:

The Celtics play the Detroit Pistons at home Monday night. The game will be nationally televised and the tip-off is set for 8:00 PM.